* Outreach News Archive * University of Bristol Press Releases

Outreach News Summer 2011


Pioneering Bristol chemistry scheme reaches South Africa - 08/08/11

Tim Harrison with two of the Science Demonstrators from Sci-Bono Discovery CentreTim Harrison, Director of Outreach at Bristol ChemLabS spent four days working at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg, the country's biggest science centre, where he delivered a series of seven lecture demonstrations to 2100 youngsters aged from 12 to 17 from a wide variety of state and independent schools in the surrounding area and Soweto.

The lecture entitled 'A Chemical Delight' looks at the chemical industry, explaining what is and what isn't a chemical reaction by showing some simple chemical kinetics. The demonstrations include many of the reactions which have inspired generations of chemists such as work with liquid nitrogen, hydrogen explosions, iodine clock reactions and the ability of disposable babies' nappies to absorb urine.

It was the second working visit by Tim to the centre in two years, where he's previously trained Sci-Bono demonstrators to deliver chemistry outreach programmes which are similar to the ones That Bristol ChemLabS does in schools across the UK.

The other lecture demonstration, entitled 'A Pollutant's Tale', which has been performed nearly 900 times in the last six years by Bristol University staff, is now performed by Sci-Bono demonstrators to approximately 2000 students per month in Johannesburg. It is also performed in the Eastern and Western Cape regions by students from Rhodes University's School of Chemistry.

Whilst at the centre, Tim also gave further advice on the set-up of the chemistry laboratory and preparation room in addition to training demonstrators about kinetics and perfume chemistry.

The visit was sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry South African (North) branch.

A Report on Tim's visit in the South African Chemical Institute's Agust Newsletter (page 6) is available here.


Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Publications have an Impact Across Europe - 16/6/11

A recent survey of the articles produced from Bristol ChemLabS Outreach for the pan-European journal Science in School shows that more than 1/3 of a million copies or downloads have been accessed by teachers and pre-university students in the last 5 years. The majority of the articles describe recent research in Climate Change and Atmospheric Chemistry and provide resources and suggestions for practical work that can support these studies in schools. The 8 articles have been translated into 12 EU languages from Spanish to Slovene and from Greek to Catalan. The most popular single article, with 90,000 hits, concerns the primary outreach work we do and the circus of chemistry practicals we have developed for primary schools. Articles in Spanish (two translated by a former School's Project student) are the most popular non-English versions.

Until this year, in addition to downloads, a hardcopy of each issue of Science in School has been sent to approximately 150,000 schools, stakeholders and other organisations across Europe. In total, we estimate that articles have been viewed by around half a million teachers, students and other interested parties.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach gets Big Tick Reaccreditation for the Second Year in a Row - 8/06/11

Bristol ChemLabS is delighted to announce that its Schools Outreach programme has retained its Big Tick status in the Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) 2011 Awards for Excellence for the second year in a row.

Bristol ChemLabS achieved the Big Tick in the 2009 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award for its outreach and engagement activities with schools, teachers and students of all ages which were judged to have made a strikingly positive and sustained impact on the community. ChemLabS was also ‘Highly Commended’ in this category at a reception which took place at St James’s Palace. Last year and now again this year, ChemLabS has been able to demonstrate that it is still a fantastic example of sustainable outreach that continues to have a significant and positive impact both nationally and internationally.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Avril Waterman-Pearson said: ‘We are delighted that Bristol ChemLabS has been reaccredited in the 2011 Awards for Excellence. Its schools outreach programme continues to have a significant impact on the aspirations and achievements of young people, and the award reflects a huge amount of inspired work on the part of the ChemLabS team.

Bristol ChemLabS was presented with a Big Tick reaccreditation certificate at St George's in Bristol on June 7 by Jo Le Poidevin, Regional Director of Business in the Community

For the University of Bristol press release, click here


Bristol ChemLabS to Host the RSC Analytical Chemistry Competition National Finals - 31/05/11

The Royal Society of Chemistry's analytical competition is a full day's competition for teams of Year 12 chemistry students. Bristol ChemLabS has been running regional heats for several years and is delighted to be asked to host the 2012 finals for the winners of the regional heats held across the UK. The final for 20 teams of some of the UK's top chemistry students will be held in late June 2012.


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